India’s HNIs touch 1-lakh mark, clocks 2nd highest growth

India’s HNIs touch 1-lakh mark, clocks 2nd highest growth

Mumbai: Are the rich getting richer in the country? It seems so as a latest study has found that India’s High Networth Individuals (HNIs) population has touched 1,00,000 mark at the end of 2006.

Indian HNIs posted the second fastest growth of 20.5%, says the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report released by Merril Lynch and consulting firm Capgemini .

HNIs are those with net financial assets of at least $1 million, excluding their primary residence and consumables.

“Robust economic growth and strong financial markets, along with gains in income and credit expansion ... were the key drivers of growth in India’s HNI population," DSP Merrill Lynch’s Head of Global Private Client Pradeep Dokania said.

“Indian HNIs held a combined $350 billion in financial assets at the end of 2006, 4% of total Asia Pacific HNI wealth," the report said.

Of the 100,000 HNIs in India, an estimated 858 are ultra HNIs with more than $30 million in financial assets.

In 2006, the continued expansion of India’s economy, along with India’s upbeat long term growth prospects, led to increased NRI investments into India, the report said.

“The performance of the Indian market, along with the strength of its currency, is making India more attractive to NRI investors," Merrill Lynch’s global head of NRI markets Aseem Arora said.

DSP Merrill Lynch (DSPML) is one of India’s leading investment banking and brokerage firms and Merrill Lynch holds 90% in DSPML.

“Strong growth in HNIs’ wealth and number posed significant challenges and complexities to the financial advisory firms servicing these clients,“ Arora said.

The report has taken into account the HNI population in nine regional markets — Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

Asia-Pacific had 2.6 million HNIs at the end of 2006 accounting for 27.1% of world’s HNIs population.

Among the Indian HNIs, 76% were younger than 55 years, the report revealed whereas 73% of Japanese HNIs were over that age.

“The majority of the HNIs in all markets are male, however, the proportion of male HNIs are highest in India, Australia and South Korea at more than 80%," report said.

On the other hand females represent 43% of Taiwan’s HNI population and more than 30% in China. The wealth of Asia-Pacific HNIs grew by 10.5% to $8.4 trillion in 2006.